Former president Donald Trump accidentally sanctioned an Italian restaurant on a blacklist meant for a network of Venezuelan oil firms, reports have said.
Reuters reported that in 2019 Mr Trump sanctioned a network of oil firms and individuals tied to Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) as part of a plan to crackdown on blacklisted crude oil.
The former president was seeking to force the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, who the administration accused of corruption, human rights violations, and manipulating his 2018 re-election.
On Mr Trump’s last day in office, the treasury department imposed sanctions on a man named Alessandro Bazzoni over accusations he was tied to a network attempting to evade sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector.
A treasury official corrected its error and acknowledged the mistake on Wednesday, Reuters reported. A treasury official said the department realised the companies were owned by different individuals in a case of mistaken identity.
The treasury also reportedly mistakenly blacklisted a graphic design company owned by another man called Alessandro Bazzoni in Sardinia.
“At the end of the Trump administration they were doing a lot really, really fast with respect to Venezuela, Iran and China,” Tim O’Toole, a sanctions specialist at law firm Miller & Chevalier, told Reuters.
“When you move that fast, you tend to make mistakes,” he added.